Wildflowers and Geology, Manitoulin by Andy Fyon

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Presentation Description

This presentation was delivered by Dr. Andy Fyon on February 13, 2016, to the Ottawa Valley Rock and Horticultural Society. The presentation examines the relationship between the local geology and plant communities in the following habitats: a) limy and acidic soil; b) alvar; c) sand dunes and raised beaches; d) fertile sediments that were deposited on the bottom of glacial lakes; and d) karst;.

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Life on, and in the Rocks: Manitoulin Island Geology and Flowering Plants:

Feb 13/16 1 Life on, and in the Rocks: Manitoulin Island Geology and Flowering Plants Andy Fyon , Ontario Wildflower, February 13 , 201 6 Ontario Beneath Your Feet Ottawa Valley Rock Garden + Horticultural Society February 13 , 201 6

Journey Today:

Feb 13/16 2 Journey Today Geology of Manitoulin Island area – abridged version! Relationship between g eolog ical habitat and some plants , Manitoulin Island Area Geology is an important factor that controls plant community. White trillium ( Trillium grandiflorum )

Slide3:

Feb 13/16 3 Not a biologist , botanist, or horticulturist W ildflower hobby Am a geologist by training Prefer not to discuss medicinal or culinary uses of plants Lots of questions, don't have all the answers, let’s try together

Application of Geoscience:

Feb 13/16 4 Application of Geoscience Ontario Beneath Your Feet

Manitoulin Island:

Feb 13/16 5 Manitoulin Island O

Slide6:

Feb 13/16 6 Simplified Ontario Geology Old Canadian Shield Rock Young Limy Rock

Old Canadian Shield Rocks:

Feb 13/16 7 Old Canadian Shield Rocks Pink = Granite White = Quartzite

Slide8:

Feb 13/16 8 Simplified Ontario Geology Old Canadian Shield Rock Young Limy Rock (Platform)

Young Limestone and Dolomite (Limy) Rocks Manitoulin Island:

Feb 13/16 9 Young Limestone and Dolomite (Limy) Rocks Manitoulin Island

Slide10:

Feb 13/16 10 Fossils - Limestone Rocks Chain coral Cephalopod Crinoid

Slide11:

Feb 13/16 11 Ocean 450 to 400 Million Years Ago

Why: Young limestone rocks with fossils?:

Feb 13/16 12 Why: Young limestone rocks with fossils? Answer: Tropical ocean covered Ontario 425 Million Years Ago.

Old Canadian Shield and Young Limestone Rocks - Manitoulin Island:

Feb 13/16 13 Old Canadian Shield and Young Limestone Rocks - Manitoulin Island Coniglio et al. 2006

Last Big Geological Event: Glaciation: 2,500,000 to 20,000 years ago:

Feb 13/16 14 Last Big Geological Event: Glaciation: 2,500,000 to 20,000 years ago Coniglio et al. 2006

Glaciation: 2,500,000 to 20,000 years ago:

Feb 13/16 15 Glaciation: 2,500,000 to 20,000 years ago Coniglio et al. 2006 Glaciation shapes land Glaciation ends about 20,000 yrs ago Glacier melts northward Present landscape exposed

Slide16:

Feb 13/16 16 Post-glacial Lake Levels ( from Coniglio et al. 2006) Plant relevance?

Slide17:

Feb 13/16 17 Post-glacial Lake Levels ( from Coniglio et al. 2006) Plant relevance 1: cleaned off rock to create pavement.

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Feb 13/16 18 Post-glacial Lake Levels ( from Coniglio et al. 2006) Plant relevance 2: created beach and sand dunes.

Slide19:

Feb 13/16 19 Post-glacial Lake Levels ( from Coniglio et al. 2006) Plant relevance 3: nutrient-rich lake bottom deposits.

Geology and Plants?:

Feb 13/16 20 Geology and Plants? Carolina Spring Beauty ( Claytonia Virginica ) "Soil": Limy and acidic Alvar Sand dunes / raised beaches "Rich soil": Nutrient-rich lake bottom deposits Micro-habitat

Slide21:

Feb 13/16 21 Geology and Plants 1: Rock Composition: Limy vs Acid Soil Limestone: Limy (hard water) Canadian Shield quartzite (Bar River Formation): Acidic (soft water)

Slide22:

Feb 13/16 22 Geology and Plants 1: Rock Composition: Limey vs Acidic Soil Yellow Lady's-slipper ( Cypripedium calceolus ): Limy soil Pink Lady's-slipper ( Cypripedium acaule ): Acidic soil

Slide23:

Feb 13/16 23 Geology and Plants 1 Limy vs Acidic Soil Blueberries: acidic soil - open coniferous woodland, bogs

Geology and Plants 1: Rock Composition: Speciality Plants Summary:

Feb 13/16 24 Geology and Plants 1: Rock Composition: Speciality Plants Summary Acidic: Butterfly weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) Geology Acidic and limy rock composition Glaciers scrape rocks into rock soil Soil reflects rock composition Acidic and limy soil Plant adaptation Lime tolerant plants Acid tolerant plants Limy: Grass-of-parnassus ( Parnassia palustris )

Geology and Plants 2: Alvar Harsh Geological Habitat:

Feb 13/16 25 Geology and Plants 2: Alvar Harsh Geological Habitat L imestone, dolomite rock Little or no soil Low nutrient Limy groundwater + soil Open , high solar incidence, hot Spring flooding, summer drought

Geology and Plants 2: Many Types of Alvar:

Feb 13/16 26 Geology and Plants 2: Many Types of Alvar Oak savannah, open alvar grassland, shore alvar

Ontario Alvars:

Feb 13/16 27 Ontario Alvars

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Feb 13/16 28 Alvar Plant: Wild Chives ( Allium schoenoprasum ) Alvar Confinement: High

Slide29:

Feb 13/16 29 Alvar Plant: Hill's Thistle ( Cirsium hillii ) Alvar Confinement: High Great lakes endemic, globally rare, threatened (COSEWIC)

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Feb 13/16 30 Alvar Plant: Lakeside daisy ( Tetraneuris herbacea ): Alvar Confinement: Extreme Open alvar and pavement; shore alvar; Great lakes endemic; globally rare and threatened (COSEWIC); Ontario populations constitute 95% of world population.

Slide31:

Feb 13/16 31 Alvar Plant: Seneca Snakeroot ( Polygala senega ) Alvar Confinement: High Open alvar grassland.

Geology and Special Alvar Plant Summary:

Feb 13/16 32 Geology and Special Alvar Plant Summary Narrow-leaved Vervain ( Verbena simplex ) Geology Tropical ocean Fossiliferous limy rock Changing lake levels as glacier melted washed away soil Alvar and limy conditions Plant adaptation Plants that tolerate limy conditions, heat, drought, flooding, poor nutrient

Geology and Plants 3: Sand Dune and Raised Beaches:

Feb 13/16 33 Geology and Plants 3: Sand Dune and Raised Beaches Geological process: raised beaches formed over last 10,000 years when post-glacial lakes began to recede reworked glacial sand

Dunes and Raised Beaches - Lake Level Changes - Reworking of Ancient Shorelines:

Feb 13/16 34 Dunes and Raised Beaches - Lake Level Changes - Reworking of Ancient Shorelines Ancient shoreline formed as glacial Lake Algonquin level dropped. Result: raised beaches and dunes.

Geology and Plants 3: Sand Dune and Raised Beach:

Feb 13/16 35 Geology and Plants 3: Sand Dune and Raised Beach Habitat conditions: extreme heat extreme light wind and moving sand (bury + sandblasting) lack of nutrients dry (or wet)

Geology and Plants 3: Dune Plant: Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus):

Feb 13/16 36 Geology and Plants 3: Dune Plant: Beach Pea ( Lathyrus japonicus ) Legume Dune stabilizer

Dune Plant: Pitcher's thistle (Cirsium pitcheri):

Feb 13/16 37 Dune Plant: Pitcher's thistle ( Cirsium pitcheri ) Threatened Dune stabilizer Flowers once 2 to 11 years dies (monocarpic)

Geology and Plants 4: Lake bottom: Ancient Lake Deposits Fertile Soil: Where Are The Farms?:

Feb 13/16 38 Geology and Plants 4: Lake bottom: Ancient Lake Deposits Fertile Soil: Where Are The Farms? Former lake bottom - rich, fertile soil

Lake Algonquin Bottom: 10,000 years ago:

Feb 13/16 39 Lake Algonquin Bottom: 10,000 years ago Larsen, 1987; U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY BULLETIN 1801 Manitoulin Island Melting glacier Plant relevance: Manitoulin Island mostly submerged; nutrient-rich lake bottom sediments.

Geology and Plants 4: Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Spring (Ephemeral) Flora:

Feb 13/16 40 Geology and Plants 4: Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Spring (Ephemeral) Flora White trillium ( Trillium grandiflorum ) Deciduous forest habitat: rich, fertile soil.

Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Spring Ephemeral Flora:

Feb 13/16 41 Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Spring Ephemeral Flora Trout Lily ( Erythronium americanum ) Carolina Spring Beauty ( Claytonia virginica )

Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Late Spring Flora:

Feb 13/16 42 Nutrient-rich Lake Bottom Sediments: Deciduous Forest Habitat: Late Spring Flora Jack-in-the-Pulpit ( Arisaema triphyllum )

Slide43:

Feb 13/16 43 Geology Melting glaciers Glacial lakes Fertile lake bottom sediments Plant adaptation Rapid blooming Ephemeral Deciduous Forest: Geology - Plant Summary Dutchman's Breeches ( Dicentra cucullaria )

Slide44:

Feb 13/16 44 Geology and Plants 5: Karst Weathering and Micro-habitat: Pit Karren and Grikes Grikes Geology Limy rock Disolved by water Karst feature called pit karren and grikes Trap soil and water Micro-climate Pit Karren

Slide45:

Feb 13/16 45 Geology and Plants 5: Karst Weathering and Micro-habitat: Pit Karren Low Calamint ( Calamintha arkansana ) Plant adaptation Calciphile plant foothold Micro-habitat

Slide46:

Feb 13/16 46 Geology and Plants 5: Karst Weathering and Micro-habitat: Grikes Maidenhair Spleenwort ( Asplenium trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens ) Plant adaptation Moist, cool micro-habitat

Slide47:

Feb 13/16 47 Geology and Plants 5: Weathering and Micro-habitat Geology Limy rock Disolved by water Karst: pit karren and grikes Trap soil and water Micro-climate Fill with soil and water Plant adaptation Calciphile plant foothold Micro-habitat

Geology and Plants?:

Feb 13/16 48 Geology and Plants? Carolina Spring Beauty ( Claytonia Virginica ) Spring Ephemeral Billions to millions of years ago: Acidic rock Millions of years ago: limy rock Alvar and karst grikes Ten thousand years ago: Sand dunes and raised beaches Ten thousand years ago: Nutrient-rich lake bottom deposits Less than ten thousand years ago: Weathering pit karren micro-habitat

Geology Influences Location and Type of Wildflower Communities:

Feb 13/16 49 Geology Influence s Location and Type of Wildflower Communities Geological Habitats Rocks, soils, landscape Plant Communities Geological Processes

Dr. Andy Fyon (Amateur Wildflower Hat) www.ontariowildflower.com www.facebook.com/Andy.wildflowers Email: andy@ontariowildflower.com:

Feb 13/16 50 Dr. Andy Fyon ( Amateur Wildflower Hat) www.ontariowildflower.com www.facebook.com/Andy.wildflowers Email: andy@ontariowildflower.com

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